Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is most closely associated with the treatment of borderline personality disorder. However, it can also be incredibly valuable to clients who are working to combat addiction. At Gateway Foundation Aurora, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is just one part of our comprehensive addiction therapy services. Find out what DBT has to offer, how it works and how it can fit into a Residential or Outpatient program.

Teaching Clients How to Tolerate Discomfort

Therapist and client participating in dialectical behavioral therapyOne of the best predictors of long-term sobriety is resilience. Although this might sound like something that is inherent in a person, it can also be taught. Often, clients struggle with addiction in part because they don’t know how to deal with discomfort. Substance abuse can be a way to numb sadness, loneliness, or pain, even though it doesn’t actually address the problem.

After rehab, clients no longer have substance abuse to turn to. Of course, life still creates stress, obstacles, and discomfort. That’s why it is so important to learn how to tolerate discomfort.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy shows clients how to be uncomfortable and manage feelings. Sometimes that means thinking about something stressful and just sitting with the feeling. Sometimes it means finding new coping mechanisms that aren’t harmful to recovery. Learning how to be uncomfortable might not sound like much, but it is a valuable skill that can be the difference between sobriety and relapse.

Learning How to Govern Emotions

No one should feel like addiction treatment takes away your ability to think or feel. Although there are several steps to follow on the road to recovery, experiencing the full range of emotions is still vital. However, some clients struggle to regulate their feelings appropriately. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, fortunately, can be a big help.

In DBT sessions, clients can learn how to prevent strong emotions from impacting behavior. For example, a client might make a small mistake during a Group Therapy session and be embarrassed. That can quickly spiral into anger or frustration, which in turn could cause the client to relapse.

During behavioral therapy, clients learn to step back and rationally look at the situation. In the grand scheme of things, being slightly embarrassed is not serious. Most people probably already forgot it ever happened. When clients look past their emotions, they are more likely to act by following their values rather than their feelings.

Opening Your Mind to New Points of View

A common trait among those struggling with addiction is a black and white mentality. A person might feel overjoyed or distraught. They might feel like a superstar or like a complete failure. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy shows clients that multiple points of view can and do exist at the same time.

A person can make a mistake and still be smart, committed, and dedicated. If someone says something to hurt a person’s feelings, they aren’t necessarily a bad person. There are plenty of perspectives, and recognizing the viewpoints of others helps clients understand that.

What to Expect From DBT

There are two main types of DBT–individual sessions and skills groups. In Individual Therapy, clients can expect the chance to focus on their issues. There are opportunities to use skills learned in everyday life and therapists aim to keep clients motivated to do just that.

In skills groups, participants can share experiences with one another. Clients can learn from peers while practicing their newfound skills in a safe environment. Although there is typically a more significant emphasis on individual behavioral therapy, both formats offer unique benefits to clients during recovery.

Supplementing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy at Gateway Foundation Aurora

At Gateway Foundation Aurora, DBT is available for those clients who need it. While behavioral therapy can go a long way in recovery, the best treatment involves a wide range of therapies. Clients at Gateway Aurora can look forward to all of the following:

To regulate emotions and get comfortable tolerating discomfort, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is invaluable. At Gateway Foundation in Aurora, Illinois, DBT and a long list of addiction treatment programs work together for your recovery. If you’re ready to overcome addiction and start living the life you deserve, call 630.966.7400.